2016: Jeff Hintz As the Ryder Cup tournament director at Hazeltine National, he organized one of the greatest sporting events in Minnesota history.
2015: Maya Moore Hit a Finals Game 3 buzzer-beater, and many more big shots, to lead the Lynx to their third WNBA title.
2014: Mike Grant Veteran Eden Prairie football coach won his fourth consecutive state title and 10th overall.
2013: Gophers women’s hockey Produced a 41-0 record, an NCAA championship and a 62-game winning streak over two seasons.
2012: Adrian Peterson Rushed for 2,097 yards, second most in NFL history, and was named the league’s MVP, leading the Vikings to a playoff berth.
2011: Seimone Augustus After two years of misfortune, the Lynx star dug deep and inspired her team to a WNBA title.
2010: Earl Santee The architect of Target Field turned an urban parking lot into the “best ballpark in America.”
2009: Brett Favre Future Hall of Famer led the Vikings to a 12-4 regular season and into the NFC Championship Game. At age 40, Favre completed 68 percent of his passes.
2008: Lindsey Vonn Getting her start on Burnsville’s Buck Hill, Vonn became the most successful downhill skier in U.S. history and the first American woman in 25 years to win the World Cup overall title.
2007: Adrian Peterson The rookie set the NFL single-game rushing record with 296 yards in his eighth game.
2006: Twins organization A playoff team with a Cy Young Award winner (Johan Santana), an MVP (Justin Morneau) and a batting champion (Joe Mauer) also got approval for a new outdoor stadium.
2005: Greg Eslinger All-America center and all-time Gophers football great won the Outland Trophy.
2004: Lindsay Whalen The driving force behind the Gophers women’s basketball program reaching the Final Four.
2003: John Gagliardi The St. John’s legend earned his 409th victory on Nov. 8, 2003, becoming college football’s winningest coach, and his team won the NCAA Division III national title.
2002: Harry Crump Hennepin County judge issued a restraining order that kept the Twins out of MLB’s contraction plans.
2001: Joe Mauer Three-sport star at Cretin-Derham Hall was one of the state’s all-time great high school athletes before he put on a Twins uniform.
2000: Jac Sperling The Wild’s chief executive led the NHL back to Minnesota and started the rally to build Xcel Energy Center.
1999: Glen Mason The Gophers’ most successful football season in three decades (culminating with a Sun Bowl matchup vs. Oregon) earned him Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.
1998: Randall Cunningham Out of football before joining the Vikings as a backup quarterback, he led the team to a 15-1 regular season at the age of 35.
Note: Candidates are nominated by members of the Star Tribune sports department, and a selection committee of staff members makes the final choice.